Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Selection Committee of Ignorance

I am currently without a home computer as my family prepares our move back to America. As a result, I won't get a chance to post as often and my posts likely won't be as thorough as they have been in the past. Also, there could be a few more typos for which I'm apologizing in advance for. However, as usual, I will do my best!

Not that it will affect the eventual winner of the NCAA Tournament, but the Selection Committee did a deplorable job in selecting the 65-team field. Most notably, the admissions of Seton Hall, Air Force, and Utah St., and the omissions of Cincinnati, Hofstra, and Missouri St. The Committee has said in the past that it doesn't take into consideration how many teams are given bids from certain conferences. There are few things I dislike more than when people say something isn't true when it obviously is. The committee is a joke and needs to be reformed. The NCAA Tournament is the envy of all sporting championships around the world. It's the model that most football fans would love to bring to the college football landscape. However, that speaks nothing about the credibility of the Selection Committee. How can there be an unbiased selection process when the ten members of the committee are often affiliated with the teams that they are judging? George Mason's Athletic Director was a member of the committee this year. The fact that George Mason received a bid, and Hofstra, who beat George Mason twice this year AND made it to the CAA Championship game and didn't receive a bid seems awfully convenient for George Mason.

Here is a brief comparison of the teams listed above:

Which teams would you pick in each comparison?

Team A or Team B?

Team A

Record: 24-6
RPI: 30

Team B

Record: 23-7
RPI: 26

Team A and Team B played twice this year, Team A won both games by at least nine points!

Team C or Team D?

Team C

Record: 20-8
RPI: 21
Wins vs. tourney teams: 6
SOS: 46

Team D

Record: 22-6
RPI: 50
Wins vs. tourney teams: 1
SOS: 158

Team E or Team F?

Team E

Record: 18-12
RPI: 40
Wins vs. RPI top 50: 4
SOS: 5
Losses to teams with an RPI of 90 or worse: 1
Conference rank: 2

Team F

Record: 22-8
RPI: 46
Wins vs. RPI top 50: 1
SOS: 102
Losses to teams with an RPI of 90 or worse: 6
Conference rank: 9

Clearly, teams A, C, and E are the obvious choice in each comparison. Those teams are Hofstra, Missouri St., and Cincinnati. For some reason (a reason that seems unfathomable to me) the Committee chose teams B, D and F which are George Mason, Air Force, and Utah St.

Don't get me wrong, I think George Mason should've made the tournament. I just used GM to show how ridiculous it is for Hofstra to be at home while GM is in the field. There is no way anybody can rationalize putting in Air Force and Utah St. into the field without using # of teams from a conference as a rationale. The Committee says that it doesn't use # of teams from a conference to determine bids. So, either the committee is lying, or it is insane.

To top it off, Seton Hall had seven losses to teams with an RPI of 75 or worse. That includes three losses outside of the RPI top 100 and two losses to fellow conference bottom dweller, Rutgers. No team with that many bad losses should make the tournament.

The teams that should've made the tournament out of these teams are Hofstra, Cincinnati, George Mason, and Missouri St. Seton Hall, Air Force, and Utah St. have no business being in the tournament.

This may seem insignificant, and it might be if the only thing that matters is who wins the tournament. These teams really have no shot at that. However, I think fairness matters. I can't respect the Committee or the selection process when it makes such terrible decisions. There needs to be reform in how teams are selected. Or, the NCAA could just add teams to the field. There is no reason why a team with an RPI of 21 (Missouri St.) should be playing in the NIT.

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